The 63 newly-elected Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) swore to offer true and faithful service to the Assembly and defend the East African Community (EAC) as they took oath of office on Monday. Their swearing in was held during the inauguration of the fifth EALA Assembly, in Arusha, Tanzania. “I do swear that I will give true and faithful service to this Assembly, and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the East African Community, and will preserve, protect, and defend the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community as by law established. So help me God,” each of the new EALA MP said in the oath. According to the rules of procedure of the Assembly, the Clerk is required, on the first day of the new House, to read out aloud and lay on the table the list of the members of the House as transited to the Clerk by the Speakers of the National Assemblies of each of the EAC partner. “I confirm that the seven partner States of the East African Community, through their respective Speakers, transmitted to me the list (of EALA members) in accordance with the law,” said Alex Lumumba Obatre, EALA Clerk, before the MPs took oath. The legislation requires the Clerk to administer the oath of affirmation or allegiance to the members. “Our rules of procedures further require that you can only sit or vote in the Assembly after taking the oath or affirmation of allegiance to the Treaty (Establishing the East African Community),” Obatre said. Rwanda’s EALA MPs are Francine Rutazana, Fatuma Nyirakobwa Ndangiza, Kayonga Caroline Rwivanga, Mathias Harebamungu, Clement Musangabatware, Aisha Nyiramana, Alex Bahati, Alodie Iradukunda, and Françoise Uwumukiza. The first Meeting of the first Session of the fifth EALA Assembly is underway today, and among things on the agenda, there is the election of is new Speaker to replace the outgoing Speaker, Martin Ngoga – who was the Speaker of the 4th EALA Assembly which started in 2017 completed its term on December 17, 2022. The Assembly members are drawn from East African EAC Partner States – currently seven, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Each Partner State has nine members in the Assembly. Its MPs increased from 54 to 63, after DRC – the newest to the bloc - elected its members to this regional Parliament.